LSS Seeks Foster Grandparent Volunteers to Impact the Lives of Children and Youth
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is seeking volunteers for its Foster Grandparent program, in partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors, a national service agency, to offer guidance and encouragement to at-risk children and youth in the community.
Foster Grandparent volunteers are older adults who traditionally offer one-to-one mentoring in the classroom and other settings to children and youth who may be experiencing academic or social challenges. Their presence and reassurance can help children and youth improve self-esteem, social and emotional development and literacy and math skills.
“Children benefit from having another adult in their life who is genuinely interested in them, and who wants to spend time with them,” shared Sue Wacek, a Foster Grandparent volunteer. “They learn that someone is interested in their future success.”
And, the rewards go both ways, enriching the lives of Foster Grandparents as well.
“I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment, I get the opportunity to spend time with new people and volunteering keeps my skills sharp,” Wacek said. “I also receive so much gratitude from the children, their families and even teenagers; being appreciated gives me a sense of wellbeing. I think everyone wants to feel appreciated and needed.”
In Minnesota in 2021, 232 Foster Grandparents supported children and youth at 140 schools and other sites throughout the state. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the service was provided virtually over the past year. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota will resume in-person volunteering for the upcoming school year. However, there is still the opportunity to volunteer remotely with partner sites that offer remote learning.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is currently seeking volunteers who are age 55 years or older and can commit to at least 10 hours per week.
The Foster Grandparent service offers volunteers a tax-free hourly stipend, a chance to stay connected and a meaningful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people. Foster Grandparents receive preservice and ongoing training. More than 20 hours of training is provided and there are a limited number of iPads to loan to volunteers who don’t have access to technology for remote volunteering.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota conducts background checks to ensure safety. The statewide organization serves all Minnesotans and welcomes volunteers from various cultures, backgrounds, traditions and stages in life to inquire. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent, call 888.205.3770 or visit lssmn.org/fgvolunteer.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota also welcomes other nonprofits to become partner sites to support youth in a variety of settings including public and private schools, Head Start locations, shelters, and daycare centers. To become a partner, visit lssmn.org/fgpartner or call 888.205.3770.